Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Reactive arthritis: an unusual presentation of acute Clostridioides difficile colitis


A 20-year-old Caucasian man with a history of psoriasis presented to the emergency department due to a 2-week history of severe polyarthralgia and a 3-week history of non-bloody diarrhoea. The initial workup 2 days prior in an urgent care clinic returned negative for all enteric pathogens including Clostridioides difficile nucleic acid amplification test. Investigations revealed colitis on CT and pseudomembranous colitis on colonoscopy. The aspirate returned positive for C. difficile toxin. Tissue biopsies of the ascending, transverse, sigmoid colon and rectum were negative for chronicity to suggest inflammatory bowel disease with extraintestinal manifestation as the aetiology of polyarthralgia, which had been the most likely differential diagnosis until that point. The biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of reactive arthritis in the setting of C. difficile colitis. The patient improved on treatment with naproxen and was referred to rheumatology where he was found to be HLA-B27 positive.

  • infection (gastroenterology)
  • general practice / family medicine
  • rheumatology
  • infectious diseases

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.